In the framework of the 21st of September World Alzheimer’s day University of Kyrenia Faculty of Medicine, Neurology Department, Kyrenia Lions Club and Nicosia Lions Club organized a panel titled as ‘Will I develop Alzheimer’s Disease’.
Specialist Dr. Nüket Vural made the opening speech and moderated the panel. University of Kyrenia Rector Prof. Dr. İlkay Salihoğlu, Vice Rector and the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine Prof. Dr. Rüveyde Bundak, the Head of Nicosia Lions Club Levent Şenyüz, Head of Kyrenia Lions Club Esen Yalın Aktoprak and the Head of Northern Cyprus Lions Clubs Federation Alev Ulubay, academicians, specialists and guests showed great interest in the panel.
Levent Şenyüz, Head of Nicosia Lions Club thanked the participants and contributors to the panel which was organized in order to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease.
Head of Kyrenia Lions Club Esen Yalın, firstly thanked University of Kyrenia which hosted the panel to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease, Rector Prof. Dr. İlkay Salihoğlu and Vice Rector Prof. Dr. Rüveyde Bundak, and also thanked the speakers and everyone who contributed to this organization.
After thanking those who contributed to the organization of the panel, Alev Ulubay, the Head of the Federation of TRNC Lions Clubs, stressed that Alzheimer’s is a disease that causes great problems for the patient as well as their family, which lead to more problems if not diagnosed early and increases the development of the disease.
Rector Prof. Dr. İlkay Salihoğlu stated that he sees Alzheimer’s as a problem rather than the disease of our age and emphasized that Alzheimer’s disease is mentioned as one of the 5 main problems in the report published in December 2018 within the scope of the goal-oriented research and innovative future activities of the European Union. Stating that the duty of the universities is to serve the society with the awareness of social responsibility as well as academic education, research and development activities, Salihoğlu expressed that they are always open to host such activities and congratulated the Lions clubs which chose such an important issue for the panel.
UoK Faculty of Medicine, Neurology Department Academic Staff Asst. Dr. Pınar Gelener presented the first speech which included the following titles ‘What is Memory Forgetfulness? Is every Memory forgetfulness part of Alzheimer’s disease?’. Gelener noted that there is a deterioration in multiple areas of mental abilities with the disease and gave various examples on different topics related to this disease such as motor, executive functions, behavioural symptoms and activities of daily living. Asst. Dr. Pınar Gelener stated that the most frequent and progressive cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s and also listed the causes of the disease, explaining the difference between normal aging and age related memory forgetfulness and Alzheimer’s. Gelener also mentioned the concept of neuroplasticity and emphasized the importance of physical, mental and social activities for a stronger memory especially as the age progresses.
UoK Faculty of Medicine Neurology Department Academic Staff Assoc. Dr. Senem Ertugrul Mut explained how the symptoms emerge and that 27 million people around the World have been affected by this disease in her presentation titled as ‘What is Alzheimers disease and how is it diagnosed’. Mut explained the diagnostic steps and methods in detail, and also mentioned the risk factors. Assoc. Dr. Senem Ertuğrul Mut also mentioned the protective factors such as antioxidants, high education level, oestrogen use, red wine, Mediterranean diet, physical and mental activities.
UoK Faculty of Medicine Psychiatry Department academic staff Güler Özkula started her presentation titled as “Behavioral symptoms of Alzheimer’s and its reflection on relatives’ with the quotes of the famous poet Can Yücel and emphasized the importance of understanding the patient. Özkula explained the ways that caregivers should communicate with the patient according to different stages of the disease. Specialist Dr. Güler Özkula reminded that Alzheimer’s patients can not follow more than one subject. Güler Özkula also presented examples of behaviours that increase the anxiety and anger of the patients. Özkula emphasized the benefit of distracting referrals to make the patient feel safe and finally gave important reminders about the care of the caregiver.
The last speaker of the panel, Suzan Yalınkaya, Specialist Doctor of Neurology Clinic of Famagusta Yaşam Hospital, firstly illustrated the stages of the disease in her presentation on ‘Approved and current treatments of Alzheimer’s disease “. Dr. Yalinkaya informed the participants about the current treatment methods and the latest developments in this area.
At the end of the panel, the question and answer session was followed by the head of Kyrenia Lions Club Esen Yalın Aktoprak and head of Nicosia Lions Club Levent Şenyüz presenting plaque to the speakers. They have also presented a plaque to Rüveyde Bundak and İlkay Salihoğlu.
Participants who showed great interest to the panel emphasized that such activities contribute to raising public awareness and that they would like such activities to continue in the future.